Recent Updates

2017 Program Dates:

June 19 - Orientation

August 11 - SRI Mini-Symposium

2014 Program Summary

The Summer Research Internship (SRI) program completed its 5th year in 2014! This summer we hosted 28 high school students from TERRA Environmental Research Institute and MAST Medical @ Homestead. Interns completed 1 in-class and 5 on-line lab safety courses, volunteered a minimum of 20 hours per week for 8 weeks, and attended weekly professional development workshops including Preparing an Oral Presentation of Your Research, Bioethics & Research Misconduct, and Library and Data Bases Resources. The summer interns were placed in scientific research laboratories at the Modesto Maidique and Engineering Center Campuses at FIU.


This summer students were placed with mentors in 8 departments of 3 Colleges at FIU. They include from the College of Arts and Sciences: Drs. Eric Von Wettberg, Sian Evans, M. Alejandro Barbieri -Biological Sciences; Drs. Francisco Fernandez-Lima and Jaroslava Miksovska -Chemistry & Biochemistry; Drs. Shannon Pruden, Lindsay Malloy, Anthony Dick, and Erica Musser –Psychology; from the College of Medicine: Dr. Jeremy Chambers -Cellular Biology and Pharmacology, Drs. Madhavan Nair, Marisela Agudelo and Vidya Sagar -Immunology; from the College of Engineering and Computing:  Drs. Ranu Jung, Sharan Ramaswamy and Anthony McGoron -Biomedical Engineering and Dr. Amir Mirmiran –Civil Engineering and Dr. Ismail Guvenc –Electrical Engineering. A total of 41 faculty mentors have participated in the SRI and 108 students have participated in the SRI program since 2010.

The interns culminated the program by submitting abstracts and giving oral presentations of their research project at the FIU SRI Mini-Symposium on August 8th, 2014. Students gave 10 minute oral presentations and answered questions from the audience of FIU faculty, students and staff, Miami-Dade County Public School Magnet Academy Leaders and students’ family members & friends. Refreshments were sponsored by FIU’s Office of Engagement and QBIC Program. Generous donations were received from Subway, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, ChicBerry Frozen Yogurt and Walgreens.

Judges awarded the top 3 student presenters with Barnes and Noble gift cards (sponsored by the Honors College), as well as invited them to present their summer research at FIU’s Annual MARC U*STAR & MBRS RISE Mini-Symposium in the fall. The 1st Place winner also received the book At the Bench by Kathy Barker and was invited to present her research at FIU’s Biomedical and Comparative Immunology Symposium in March 2015.

 

2013 Program Summary

The Faculty and Student Research Training & Access Office (FSRTA) completed its 4th annual Summer Research Internship (SRI). This summer we hosted 29 high school students from TERRA Environmental Research Institute and MAST Medical @ Homestead. Interns completed 1 in-class and 5 on-line lab safety courses, volunteered a minimum of 20 hours per week for 8 weeks, attended weekly professional development workshops including Preparing an Oral Presentation of Your Research, Bioethics & Research Misconduct, and Library and Data Bases Resources. The summer students were placed in scientific research laboratories at the Modesto Maidique and Engineering Center Campuses at FIU.

This summer students were placed with mentors in 8 departments of 4 Colleges at FIU. They include
from the College of Arts and Sciences: Dr. Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh - Chemistry & Biochemistry, Drs. DeEtta Mills and Phillip Stoddard - Biological Sciences, Drs. Eliza Nelson, Shannon Pruden, Lorraine Bahrick, Lindsay Malloy, Anthony Dick, and Nadja Schreiber Compo – Psychology, Drs. Jennifer Rehage and Krish Jayachandran – Earth & Environment; from the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work: Dr. Mehmet Dorak -Epidemiology; from the College of Medicine: Dr. Jeremy Chambers -Cellular Biology and Pharmacology, Drs. Madhavan Nair and Samikkannu Thangavel -Immunology; from the College of Engineering and Computing:  Drs. Ranu Jung, Sharan Ramaswamy and Amy Starosciak -Biomedical Engineering and Drs. Shekhar Bhansali and Herman Watson - Electrical & Computer Engineering. A total of 35 faculty mentors have participated in the SRI since 2010.

The interns culminated the program by submitting abstracts and giving oral presentations of their research project at the FIU SRI Mini-Symposium on August 9th, 2013. Students gave 10 minute oral presentations and answered questions from the audience of FIU faculty, students and staff, Miami-Dade County Public School Magnet Academy Leaders and students’ family members & friends.

Judges awarded the top 3 student presenters with Barnes and Noble gift cards, as well as  invited them to present their summer research at FIU’s Annual MARC U*STAR & MBRS RISE Mini-Symposium in the fall. The 1st Place winner also received the book At the Bench by Kathy Barker and was invited to present his research at FIU’s Biomedical and Comparative Immunology Symposium in February 2014.

Continuous program evaluation including student and faculty feedback has played a key role in the success of this program. Follow up with our first interns who have now matriculated into colleges and universities across North America is currently underway! Preliminary data so far has revealed that 11 of the 42 college eligible participants are attending FIU. Of those who are freshman at FIU, 5 are continuing their research with their summer research mentors. Three papers have been published by 2 interns, and 1 patent application was submitted. All students are pursuing degrees in STEM fields. Eighty students have participated in the SRI program since 2010, and continuous follow up is needed to track the outcomes of those currently in college and the junior & senior high school participants who will be entering college in the years ahead.

Several former SRI participants shared the following comments about their summer research experience:

2012 Program Summary

The Faculty and Student Research Training & Access Office (FSRTA) completed its 3rd annual Summer Research Internship (SRI). This summer we hosted 36 high school students from TERRA Environmental Research Institute and MAST Medical @ Homestead. Interns completed 1 in‐class and 5 on‐line lab safety courses, volunteered a minimum of 20 hours per week for 8 weeks, attended weekly professional development workshops including Preparing an Oral Presentation of Your Research, Bioethics &
Research Misconduct, and Library and Data Bases Resources. The students were placed in scientific research laboratories at the Modesto Maidique and Engineering Center Campuses at FIU. This summer we had students placed with mentors in 13 departments of 4 Colleges at FIU. They include from the College of Arts and Sciences: Drs. Lidia Kos, Manuel Barbieri and Philip Stoddard ‐Biological Sciences, Drs. Jaroslava Miksovska and Joong‐Ho Moon ‐Chemistry & Biochemistry, Dr. Jin He ‐Physics, Drs. Jennifer Rehage and Krish Jayachandran ‐Earth & Environment, Drs. Robert Lickliter, Lorraine Bahrick, Lindsay Malloy, Shannon Pruden and Asia Eaton ‐Psychology; from the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work: Dr. Mehmet Dorak ‐Environmental & Occupational Health; from the College of Medicine: Dr. Jeremy Chambers ‐Cellular Biology and Pharmacology, Drs. Rene Herrera and Helen Tempest ‐Human and Molecular Genetics, Drs. Madhavan Nair and Samikkannu Thangavel ‐ Immunology; from the College of Engineering and Computing: Dr. Chunlei Wang ‐Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Drs. Anthony McGoron, Sharan Ramaswamy, Ranu Jung and Amy Starosciak ‐ Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Deng Pen ‐School of Computing and Information Science and Dr. Shekhar Bhansali ‐Electrical & Computer Engineering.

The interns finished the program by submitting abstracts and giving oral presentations of their research project at the FIU SRI Mini‐Symposium on August 10th in the MARC Pavilion. Dr. Andres Gil, FIU’s Vice President for Research gave the welcoming remarks at the symposium. Students gave 10 minute PowerPoint presentations and answered questions from the audience of FIU faculty, students and staff, Miami‐Dade County Public School Magnet Academy Leaders and students’ family members. Judges awarded the top 3 student presenters with Barnes and Nobles gift cards, as well as invited them to present their research at FIU’s MBRS RISE & MARC U*STAR Mini‐Symposium in the fall. The 1st Place winner also received the book At the Bench by Kathy Barker and was invited to present his research at FIU’s Biomedical and Comparative Immunology Symposium in March 2013.

2011 Program Summary

This summer marked the second annual FIU TERRA Summer Research Internship Program. Participation nearly doubled from 15 interns in 2010, to 28 interns completing the program this year. Students from TERRA Environmental Research Institute included 12 from the Robotics Academy, 13 from the Biomedical Academy and 3 from the Environmental Academy. The cohort included 13 females, 15 males, and 75% of the participants belong to underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences.
Students were assisted by program staff to schedule interviews with potential mentors in STEM departments. In 2011, 16 mentors from 9 departments in 5 colleges participated. This was an increase from 11 mentors in 2010. They include Drs. Bahrick (Psychology), Barbieri (Biology), Dorak (Environmental and Occupational Health), Herrera (Biology), Jayachandran (Earth and Environment), Kos (Biology), Lickliter (Psychology), McGoron (Biomedical Engineering), Mills (Biology), Moon (Chemistry/Biochemistry), Munroe (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), Nair (Immunology), Ramaswamy (Biomedical Engineering), Rehage (Earth and Environment), C. Wang (Mechanical  and Materials Engineering) and Wnuk (Chemistry/Biochemistry).
Prior to their internship, students complete 5 on-line safety courses, as well as all human resources volunteer paperwork. On orientation day, they are provided with hourly log sheets, lab composition books, campus maps, food vendor information, inter-campus bus schedules, FIU One Card services, and volunteer parking permit forms. Dr. Charles Bigger provides an orientation to lab safety, program expectations and FIU’s Code of Student Conduct.
Along with engaging in cutting edge biomedical research, students participate in weekly professional development workshops, weekly intern meetings, library skills workshop and the Responsible Conduct in Research 2-day seminar. Interns are required to submit an abstract of their research and give a PowerPoint presentation of their project at the end of program symposium. Awards are given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place presenters, and those winners are invited back to present at FIU’s MBRS RISE & MARC U*STAR Student Mini-Symposium. The 1st place winner is also invited to present at FIU’s Biomedical and Comparative Immunology Symposium.
FIU TERRA Summer Research Internship participants have gone on to place in the county, regional, state, national and international Science & Engineering Fairs. One participant was 1 of 60 finalists out of 75,000 applicants in the Google Global Science Fair. Since their internships, about half of our interns competed in the MIT InvenTeam competition this year and 2 students were awarded grants to organize scientific clubs at TERRA.

Four summer interns have continued their research projects into the academic year. Two students are working towards papers and 1 student attended a scientific conference with their lab. Participant feedback indicates that 21 students intend on returning next summer, and mentor feedback showed that all participating mentors are willing to host a TERRA student(s) in their lab again. The Earth and Environment Department has notified our program that they would like to expand their involvement and will take additional students next summer.  

2010 Press Release 

Florida International University’s Minority Biomedical Research Support Program (MBRS) is excited to announce its partnership with TERRA Environmental Research Institute, Principal Ms. Caridad Montano (Florida’s first Green and LEED certified high school) to establish a competitive high school summer internship program. Dr. Julie Sierra-Montes, TERRA’s science chair and former FIU MBRS Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) fellow, has recommended 23 bright and motivated students to intern in biomedical research laboratories on Modesto A. Maidique campus satisfying the students’ summer community service hours.

Students from TERRA’s Academies of Environmental Research & Field Studies, Biomedical Research, and Robotics & Engineering Technology were invited to FIU Friday, April 30, 2010 to learn about the RISE, QBIC and McNair Scholars Programs as well as listen to presentations given by faculty representing Biomedical Engineering, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Psychology, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing, Environmental Studies and the Departments of Molecular Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and Human and Molecular Genetics from The College of Medicine, describing their research programs.

Dr. Charles H. Bigger, MBRS Programs Director, addressed the students advising them of scientific research careers and interviewing skills. Many students had the opportunity to participate in on-site interviews with potential mentors, and 7 students have been selected to intern in the laboratories of Drs. Anthony McGoron, DeEtta Mills, Manuel Barbieri, Joong-Ho Moon and Rene Herrera, thus far. There has been great support and interest in this program from FIU’s science faculty and several interviews are scheduled with the remaining students in the coming weeks.

The eight week internship will expose high school students to principles of research, lab procedures and safety, while being mentored by FIU’s top science researchers.  The students will culminate their internship with a presentation of their learning experience at the end of the summer semester by way of a mini-symposium.